ATHENS Georgia football receiver Tyler Simmons confirmed what everyone has long suspected and offensive coordinator James Coley strongly implied on Monday.
"You're going to see a completely different offense this year, and it's really going to be fun," Simmons said following Tuesday's practice, the first of the fall in full equipment. "It's going to be an exciting offense, and I'm hoping everybody will enjoy that."
Georgia ranked 18th in the nation in total offense last season under former coordinator Jim Chaney, 16th in rushing, but just 72nd in passing even as Jake Fromm was fifth in efficiency ratings.
Coley, in his first season as the Bulldogs offensive coordinator, said Monday that the focus was on "players not plays," and that his aim was to make the most of the UGA personnel.
While many Georgia fans on the outside have been fretting about the Bulldogs losing their top five pass catchers from a season ago, the speedy Simmons suggested the new receiving corps might actually bring more playmaking ability.
"We might have a couple of more balls in the air," said Simmons, the team's leading returning receiver with all of nine catches last season. "Of course we have a couple more (new) receivers in this year, and we have a lot more long guys, we can probably go with a couple more jump balls in the game.
"We can just open up the offense a little more with the receivers corps we have and the running backs have stayed pretty consistent."
Simmons noted he liked how young backs Kenny McIntosh and Zamir White have come along, an indication the two had an impressive first day of contact.
Coley made it clear the hottest hands will be touching the football.
" I think I think that the philosophy that we have here at Georgia is that who's touching the ball, and are they the guys are going to give us the biggest impact," Coley said. "But you definitely have to play towards your strength."
There are certainly plenty to choose from at Georgia, from a massive and deep offensive line, to a third-year starting quarterback in Jake Fromm and returning 1,000-rusher in D'Andre Swift.
And now Simmons is ready to step up and help lead a receiving corps that believes it's better and more explosive than anyone might have imagined after three from last year's group departed for the NFL.
"Myself, I've been working on getting in and out of my routes, extending from my body, and just really becoming a detailed route runner," Simmons said. "I've been doing well with the blocking game, I've been doing well with just about everything else."
Simmons' pass-catching was limited last season after he suffered a shoulder injury the fourth game of the season that sidelined him for the Tennessee game and forced him to wear a bulky brace the final nine games of of the 2018 campaign.
Simmons, famously incorrectly ruled offsides on a blocked punt in the College Football Playoff Championship Game after the 2017 season, said he hopes to be remembered for more than that play.
"I'm kind of tired of hearing Tyler Simmons was onside,' " Simmons said with a chuckle. "We had a Fan Day the other day, and I probably heard it about 10 times. But hopefully this year, I will leave more of legacy."
If the offense shakes out like Simmons and Coley have suggested, there's a very good chance that will happen.
Georgia football WR Tyler Simmons
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